What's Your Budgeting Why

What's Your Budgeting Why

Budgeting works best when you’re in it for the long haul.

For example, it’s awesome if you saved an extra $100 this month. Now you can buy a nice pair of shoes or snag a sitter to enjoy an evening out with your spouse. But if you save an extra $100 every month for a year, you can knock out some serious credit card debt, put more money toward a new home, or go on a weekend getaway with your family!

Staying committed over the long haul is difficult. That’s why we all need to have our budgeting why at the ready. Your why is the reason you made a budgeting plan in the first place. Today we’ll talk about how you can find yours.

Find Your Budgeting Why

We can tend to focus more on the what of budgeting: The process of telling your money what to do. But in order to discover your motivation, you need to take your eyes off the process for a moment.

Let’s focus on a few questions that could help you find your budgeting why.

  1. How does budgeting make you feel?
  1. What money problems might you solve through budgeting? What might you gain through budgeting?
  1. How could budgeting change you, your family, your community, or your future for the better?

Think through the questions above and make note of your answers. If a question really resonates with you, dig a little deeper. Maybe budgeting provides you with peace of mind and a sense of security. Why does that matter to you? Be specific.

It could be as simple as “I want to buy a house one day” or as complex as “I want to leave a legacy for my children.” That’s your why.

Put Your Why to Work

Write your why down and have it at the ready when temptation strikes. Give these ideas a try:

Display your why in a prominent place. You might make your why a desktop screensaver or lock screen on your phone. Write out your why on a sticky note and attach it to your debit card.

Share your why with a close friend or family member. If you’re married, you’ll probably discuss your why with your spouse. You don’t need to tell your friends or family members about your financial situation, but it is appropriate—and advisable—to share what motivates you with someone you trust.

Create a “why filter” to test your decisions. It helps to have a simple question to coach you through the big (or even small!) money decisions. Depending on your why, you might ask yourself, “Which decision contributes to feelings of peace and security?” Or “How will this decision help me leave a legacy for my kids?”

EveryDollar Users Share Their Budgeting Why

We asked folks in our EveryDollar Facebook community for the reasons they started budgeting and why they keep it up month after month. We hope their responses motivate you!

“Our why: to set a good example for our kids to grow up watching, and to be able to help as many people as possible.” — Joanna T.

“After my dad died two years ago, and seeing how he left my mom financially secure, I wanted to be sure I did the same for my son. I was tired of not being sure if I had enough money to buy small, simple things we needed or wanted, and I became determined to change it.” — Susan J.

“I want to be able to not worry about money like I see others do, and I want to retire with dignity at the age of 60 (30 years to go). I started after buying my first car and realizing that I make good money, but I was always broke. I’ve paid off $25,000 in 16 months and I have $65,000 left.” — Bri C.

“I've spent my adult life always struggling, never seeming to get ahead. Our kids are grown and now we are raising a grandson. I don't want to keep struggling, living paycheck to paycheck. We are paying off debt and are on our way! It feels good!” — Diane J.

“I want to do the things I want to do while I’m young and able!” — Stephanie B.

Got your budgeting why but not sure where to go from here? Create an EveryDollar budget, it's free and takes just minutes to create!